TAMEST is pleased to welcome five new members as a result of the recent National Academy of Engineering (NAE) elections: M. Katherine Banks, Ph.D., Texas A&M University; Thomas F. Edgar, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin; Gregory L. Fenves, Ph.D., UT Austin; Yale N. Patt, Ph.D., UT Austin; and Bob E. Schutz, Ph.D., UT Austin. In addition, Naomi J. Halas, Ph.D., from Rice University, who was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2013, was also elected to the NAE.

M. Katherine Banks, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Engineering
Dean, Dwight Look College of Engineering
Professor of Civil Engineering
Texas A&M University

M. Katherine BanksDr. M. Katherine Banks was elected to the NAE for contributions to phytoremediation of petroleum contamination and for leadership in engineering education. Through engineering design, plant biology, and environmental chemistry, her research led to the development of a new, low-cost treatment approach for removal of petroleum contamination from soil without significant site disturbance.

Dr. Banks is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and is a licensed professional civil engineer in Indiana and Kansas. She has received numerous awards including the ASCE Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, ASCE Rudolph Hering Medal, Purdue Faculty Scholar Award, Sloan Foundation Mentoring Fellowship, and the American Association of University Women Fellowship. She is the author or co-author of more than 150 journal articles, proceedings papers, and book chapters, and has made more than 200 scholarly or technical presentations before professional and related groups. She has served as editor-in-chief for the ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering and associate editor of the International Journal of Phytoremediation.


Thomas F. Edgar, Ph.D.
Director of the Energy Institute
George T. and Gladys H. Abell Chair in Chemical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Thomas F. EdgarFor the past 40 years, Dr. Thomas F. Edgar has concentrated his academic work in process modeling, control, and optimization. He has published over 450 articles and book chapters in the above fields applied to separations, chemical reactors, coal combustion and gasification, and semiconductor manufacturing. He is the co-author of three textbooks: Coal Processing and Pollution Control Technology, Optimization of Chemical Processes, and Process Dynamics and Control.

Dr. Edgar's current energy research covers renewable energy, combined heat and power, energy storage, and improved oil recovery. His group develops modeling, control, and optimization tools to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint. He is the UT principal investigator for the Pecan Street smart grid demonstration project in Austin and also for the National Science Foundation’s IGERT project on sustainable grids. He has supervised more than 80 Ph.D. students in their research.

Dr. Edgar is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). In 2007, he was selected by CONTROL magazine for the Process Automation Hall of Fame. In addition, he has received a number of major AIChE awards: Colburn Award (1980); Computing in Chemical Engineering Award (1995); Lewis Award (2005); and Van Antwerpen Award (2010). He served as the 1997 president of AIChE.


Gregory L. Fenves, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost
Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Gregory L. FenvesDr. Gregory L. Fenves was elected to the NAE for his contributions to computational modeling, creation of open source software for earthquake engineering analysis, and academic leadership. An internationally recognized structural engineer, his research focus is on computational simulation of structures subjected to earthquakes and technology for performance-based earthquake engineering. He was one of the early civil engineering researchers to develop wireless sensor networks for assessing the structural health of buildings, bridges, and infrastructure.

Prior to his appointment as executive vice president and provost, Dr. Fenves served as the eighth dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin from 2008-2013. He came to UT Austin from the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, assistant director at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, and professor of engineering, among other positions.

Dr. Fenves has received numerous national awards, including the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, and, from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Walter L. Huber Research Prize, the Moisseiff Award, and the J. James R. Croes Medal.


Naomi J. Halas, Ph.D.
Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy
Founding Director, Laboratory for Nanophotonics
Rice University

Naomi J. HalasDr. Naomi Halas is a pioneering researcher in the field of plasmonics, creating the concept of the “tunable plasmon,” and inventing a family of nanoparticles with resonances spanning the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum. She pursues fundamental studies of coupled plasmonic systems as well as applications of plasmonics in biomedicine, optoelectronics, chemical sensing, photocatalysis, and solar energy.

Dr. Halas is co-founder of Nanospectra Biosciences, a company developing photothermal therapies for cancer and other diseases based on her nanoparticles, and co-founder of Eureka Sun L3C, a startup company pursuing commercial applications of solar steam generation. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of the American Physical Society 2014 Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids, and a fellow of six professional societies: the Optical Society, the American Physical Society, the International Society for Optical Engineering, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Materials Research Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Yale N. Patt, Ph.D.
Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Centennial Chair in Engineering
Distinguished University Teaching Professor
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Yale N. PattDr. Yale N. Patt is an international authority in computer architecture. He works on problems for the microprocessors of the year 2022, when technology promises 50 billion transistors on each chip. His research focuses on breaking the abstraction layers that separate the problem statement in natural language from the circuits that execute the program.

Dr. Patt is a fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He is the recipient of many international awards for his research and teaching: 1995 IEEE Emannuel R. Piore Medal, 1996 IEEE/ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award, 2000 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, 2011 IEEE B. Ramakrishna Rau Award (inaugural recipient), and 2013 IEEE Computer Society Harry H. Goode Award. He has published more than 200 refereed papers and is co-author of a breakaway introductory textbook Intro to Computing Systems: from bits and gates to C and beyond, which has been adopted by more than 100 universities worldwide. The book uses his unique motivated bottom-up approach to learning, rather than the conventional top-down approach.

Dr. Patt has directed 28 Ph.D. graduates, six of whom hold regular faculty positions at some of the top universities in the country, and others have been chief architects of microprocessors produced by Intel, AMD, Nvidia, IBM, and Samsung.


Bob E. Schutz, Ph.D.
Joe J. King Chair of Engineering
FSX Professor of Space Applications and Exploration
Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
The University of Texas at Austin

Bob E. SchutzDr. Schutz’s research interests pertain to the application of satellite data to the areas of geodesy, geophysics, and oceanography as well as the application of computers and computational techniques to the solution of problems in those areas. He has experience with the use of laser range, satellite altimeters (radar and laser), Doppler, and other radiometric data collected from satellites such as Lageos, Starlette, Seasat, Transit, and the Global Positioning System (GPS). He has been instrumental in the design, development, and operation of software used for analyzing such data and the estimation of orbit and geodetic parameters. The University of Texas Orbit Processor (UTOPIA), a software system which resulted from these efforts, has made substantial contributions to the education, research, and service goals of the university.

Dr. Schutz is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Astronautical Society as well as the former Science Team Leader for the NASA Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) carried on ICESat-1. In addition, he was the recipient of the 2008 Dirk Brouwer Award by the American Astronautical Society and served on the Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council.